How Often Should My Car Get a Tune Up?

The time or period for tuning up your car varies from one car model to another. The time that it takes to tune up a Jaguar XJ may not be the same time that it will take to tune up a BMW X5. Besides this, there are other things that determine when you should tune up your car such as the miles that you have covered, the environment that you ride in and the difficulty your car faces on a daily basis.

Signs: How Often Should My Car Get a Tune Up?

In this post, we’ve decided to provide you with hints on how often you should get your car tune up. Read on…

Refer to the owner’s manual

If you want to know when to tune up your car, the first thing to do is to go through your car owner’s manual. Usually, it has lists of mileage and time periods for all required maintenance. This is the requirement for most things to keep your warranty valid. Normally, vehicle’s manual comprises a schedule for cars used in a commercial surrounding. Beware that commercial use of vehicles can alter the warranty.

Consider your climate and condition of the road you drive on

For individuals who normally drive on highway or secondary roads, the regular recommended maintenance schedule will likely reduce. While for people who drive on poor/gravel/dirt/unimproved roads or if you drive in extreme conditions like very cold or hot environments, it can bring harm on your vehicle’s parts and systems.

Consider your driving habits

How do you drib your car? Do you always take it uphill, drive for long distances, apply emergency brakes regularly, compete in drag racing, or perform other funny activities with it? All of these put a lot of stress on your car and highly alters the recommended maintenance schedule mileage and times. Hence, you will be required to tune it up more often than normal.

When a warning light comes on

Another moment when you need to tune up your car is “when the car engine light comes on“. Things such as failing sensors, loose gas cap, or any defect on the engine can cause the engine light to come on. You should perform a quick scan of oil pressure and coolant temperature gauges if you have them. A quality diagnostic code reader can be able to read and erase the fault codes. Take your car for tune up if the check engine lights keep coming back.

Normal car maintenance schedule

  • Oil and oil filter change – 3, 000 miles non-synthetic and 7, 000 synthetic
  • Engine air filter – 30, 000 miles
  • Cabin air filter – 15, 000 miles
  • Lubrication – new vehicles have sealed systems but still require lubricants on things such as rubber seals and door hinges.
  • Battery – 3 to 5 years, depending on quality
  • Wiper blades – between 4 and 12 months
  • Brake pads – if only 4 millimeters of the pad is left
  • Transmission fluid – about 30, 000 miles or never, depending on car make and model
  • Tires – change of tires when the tread reaches 4/32 inches of tire tread depth.

Other car tune ups include:

  • Spotting worn up belts and replacing them
  • Adjust the clutch on a manual transmission car, even though some vehicles have self adjusting clutches.
  • Replacement of distributor cap and brake rotors.
  • For cars without hydraulic valves, the valves must be adjusted and valve cover gasket replaced if oil leaks are found.

Final thoughts

Unusual car behavior like sluggish performance, strange noise, decrease in fuel economy, or a problem with any car system, you should get it checked right away. Tuning up the car quickly can help lower the overall maintenance cost. Also, ensure that you follow your car manuals tune up schedule.

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